Tropical Carrot Cake Recipe

 

Carrot Cake Recipe

Yes, it is back!

The Tropical carrot Cake recipe!

Well…….Browned Butter Tropical Carrot Cake to be more precise.

For those who have never tried browned butter in your recipes you are missing out on a culinary secret treasure!

The nuttiness and toasty flavor imparted to the recipe is just out of this world!

It is really worth the extra step, believe me!

This cake is so moist and flavorful with the cinnamon and coconut and pineapple!

Now of course you can forgo the pineapple and coconut and go for a more traditional carrot cake with raisins and nuts, or forget the add ins altogether!

This recipe is so very versatile and easy to mix, you don’t even need an electric mixer!

Then once you bake and cool the layers for this cake be sure to pair it up with my Cream Cheese Icing and well……………. I have no words to describe the pastry pleasure you will experience

Check out my finished design for this Carrot Cake Layer Cake!

Then show me what YOU come up with on my Gretchen’s Bakery facebook page!


5.0 from 7 reviews
Browned Butter Carrot Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Preheat the oven to 350° F
Author:
Serves: 3- 8" layers or 24 cupcakes
Ingredients
  • Unsalted Butter 3 sticks (336g)
  • All Purpose Flour 1½ Cups (195g)
  • Cake Flour ¾ cup (90g)
  • Baking Powder 1½ teaspoons (7g)
  • Baking Soda 1½ teaspoons (7g)
  • Salt ¾ teaspoon
  • Ground Cinnamon 1 Tablespoon (15g)
  • Granulated Sugar ¾ cup (150g)
  • Light Brown Sugar ¾ cup (158g)
  • Eggs Large 4 (200g)
  • Vanilla Extract 1 Tablespoon
  • Carrots Shredded from 5 medium carrots approx 2½ cups (300g)
  • Toasted Coconut ¾ cup (70g)
  • Crushed Pineapple bits, drained of their juice approximately 1½ cup (325g)
  • Zest of 1 Orange
Instructions
  1. First you will prepare a browned butter. Place all of the butter in a sauce pan and heat on the stove until the butter has melted and begins to lightly brown. The butter will have a nutty, toasted aroma when it is browned and you will notice the bits of milk solids that tend to "burn" fast and fall to the bottom of the pot. Slowly pour the browned butter into another bowl, allowing only the oil to collect in the bowl while the butter solids stay behind in the sauce pan. Discard the butter solid residue.
  2. Sift together the flours, salt, cinnamon and the baking soda and baking powder into a large mixing bowl, and set aside.
  3. In a another separate bowl combine both sugars and the eggs with the vanilla and orange zest & whisk smooth.
  4. Add the reserved (slightly cooled) browned butter to the sugar - egg mixture.
  5. Add the flour mixture all at once and mix until it is all combined well.
  6. Add the carrots, coconut and pineapple and mix well.
  7. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake immediately in preheated 350° F oven.
  8. Cake layers will take approximately 25 -35 minutes.
  9. Check out UNTIL ITS DONE for more clarity on baking times.
Notes
For those of you who would like to go the classic route, instead of pineapple and coconut, use raisins and nuts in the same quantity as listed


This cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days wrapped well but only if you do not ice with Cream Cheese Icing since that would require refrigeration.


For those who would like to use oil instead of browned butter you will need 1 cup + 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

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127 Comments

  1. Hi Hon!!!
    My great-grandmother’s recipe, uses coconut, pineapple, walnuts, raisins or dates, but it is very oily!
    I’m going to substitute with the browned butter, for that nutter flavor!
    May I add the nuts and raisins, along with the coconut and pinapple, or, do I have to reduce the amounts, to do so?
    THANK YOU!

  2. Hi Gretchen, love your recipes and your presentations!!! I’ve just purchased ingredients for making your Browned Butter Carrot Cake and Key Lime Pie recipes. Unfortunately, I cannot find key limes or Nellie & Joe’s bottled Key Lime Juice at my local super markets here in South Jersey (all that is available is Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice). Since I do want this pie to be perfect, is there enough of a difference in these two juices to warrant ordering it on the internet at such sites as Amazon, Williams-Sonoma, etc.? Thank you!! Wishing you all the best in Florida!!

    1. Nellie & Joe’s makes two lime juices: Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice & Nellie & Joe’s 100% Key Lime Juice. Since your recipe listed Nellie & Joe’s Bottled Key Lime Juice, I assumed you meant the 100% Key Lime Juice. So now I know. Thank you

  3. Hi Gretchen I really want to thank you for sharing this amazing recipe. I made this incredible cake yesterday and I have no words to describe how delicious it is, all my family loved, this cake is a booom oh yes! every bit was so tasty and flavorful. Thank you again, you are doing a great job here in the blog, I love your videos, : )

  4. Hi Gretch, i really enjoyed watching this video and I know i will try this one cause I love carrot cake. please additional recipes. thanks and God bless.

  5. Hi Gretchen~ I used this recipe for a tier of a 4-teir wedding cake back in April and, boy oh boy! I love carrot cake and this was out-of-this-world great! I’m not sure which part I loved best; the mixing, the baking (oh, the aroma!), the icing or the eating (see, once you eat it, it’s all gone 🙁 )

    Then you just make another one, right? 🙂

    Thanks for all you do (so well)!

  6. Good day Ms. Gretchen. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. i copied the tropical carrot recipe and will try it. i do love cooking and baking for my children. More power to you and pls. dont get tired of sharing your recipes. It’s so easy to follow. And the video helps a lot too. THANK YOU AGAIN.

    1. I just want to thank you. I will be trying your recipe cause carrot cake is one of my favorites. From the looks and ingredients I’m sure it is delicious I have shared this with my facebook friends. God bless your generous heart.

  7. LOVE your stuff! Your Swiss buttercream is becoming second nature to me!

    In this recipe, you call for Toasted Coconut ¾ (70g). I’m still at the stage where I hadn’t taken the plunge & bought a kitchen scale so I just wanted to double check that this was for 3/4 C of Toasted Coconut?

    Thanks! I’m making this cake for my granddaughter’s first Bday on Tues and can’t wait to hear the lovely reviews!

    All the best from Canada!

    Lea

      1. Baked my 3 cakes and managed to fold in half the first cake out of the pan. Don’t ask me why… That’s just how I roll.

        Would you recommend that I put this one on the bottom of the three so that the round cardboard thing on the bottom (what it’s called has escaped me at the moment) gives it more support?

  8. Hi Gretchen , today I am making your S’mores camp fire cake, wish me luck and next weekend i will try my hands on Tropical carrot cake.
    Is it OK if i use my kitchen Aid to mix the wet and dry ingredients? I am afraid I may not be able to mix sugar well by whisking.
    Any suggestion?

    Thanks a lot!!!

  9. I am making this today or tomorrow just have one question. How much browned butter oil should I have after browning? I know I will loose the solids, and water weight ~1 cup? I want to be able to make the browned butter in larger batches and use it as needed. THX soooo much.

  10. Hi Gretchen! Your carrot cake recipe taste so great. Thank you so much for sharing this to us. Can I use 2 – 10″ round pan for this? Thank you and I really enjoyed every video of yours. Keep it up! God bless you always.

  11. So first thank you for another easy to follow recipe I am beginning to love brown butter in cakes!

    Question for you, following the instructions I refrigerated this cake because of the cream cheese. (Took your Swiss buttercream and subbed 4 oz cream cheese for 4 oz butter. ) When I served the cake it was hard (great taste though) after I left it out for 15 minutes. Served it again next day after leaving it out for 2 hours again hard and dry. Left it out overnight and delish moist and soft as I was looking for. What is the recommended time to leave this out or can I just leave it out of the fridge altogether? I used carton egg beaters in the buttercream.

    Thanks again for the bakery knowledge you are sharing with us!!

    1. Well, you cant leave it out if there is cream cheese in the icing (not overnight anyway) but up to several hours no problem. I usually take it out an hour before serving (however I have never had trouble with hard and dry as you explain even when eaten straight out of the fridge!) did you over bake it a little?

  12. First the browned butter was oh my goodness…delicious all by itself. I tasted a teeny bit. Second I used this recipe as a test for a gluten free flour blend and it turned out lovely. I am certain it is super tasty with traditional flour as well but due to some health issues I avoid wheat whenever possible. I just thought I would share this in case others may need alternatives too. I used a blend that is a 1 to 1 ratio so it measures cup for cup. I was not sure if brand name is allowed so that’s why I am not stating it here. I love your recipes and look forward to making many more.

  13. Hi Gretchen
    I love carrot cake can’t wait to make this. I wanted to know could one add walnuts & how much.
    Thanks again for sharing your recipes , they are awesome.

    1. Hi Great! I know you will LOVE this recipe! I did make a note on this recipe: For those of you who would like to go the classic route, instead of pineapple and coconut, use raisins and nuts in the same quantity as listed

      1. Thks for that wasn’t sure if I could add with pineapple but maybe not coconut. I’ m going to try both ways as I haven’t make carrot cake with pineapple before. Yummy

  14. Hi Gretchen’s Bakery

    I made this cake yesterday and it turned out delicious and the taste was heavenly. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. I tried the yellow sponge cake as well and it was super hit while the previous cakes I tried failed. Thank you once again. When I mixed the dry ingredients with wet ingredients I felt the moisture was not sufficient. So I added approximately half cup of milk after I mixed all the ingredients. So please tell me if the batter should be a very thick one? and my cake got stuck to the bottom even after greasing the pan. These are the two problems I faced while baking this amazing cake. Thank you so much. Now I can proudly say that I can bake a perfect cake.

  15. Hi, gorgeous Gretchen!

    Thank you so much for the blog you made, it became the powerful base for my patissiere practice! I am the same maniac as you are)

    Please tell me, if i do freeze the cake layers as you say, what is the best way to “wake them up” when i need them? Do you warm them up or just leave till they are ok for cake building?

    Thank you in forward and all the best!

    1. Hello! what a lovely greeting! Thanks! I take the frozen layers out of the freeze and thaw them unwrapped for just a few minutes before preparing my cakes, they continue to thaw as Im working and by the time the cake is done it is perfect!

  16. Hi Gretchen, i just want to thank you for your recipes .its amazing with no reservation . Its the most reliable source for us baking enthusiastic. Very helpful tips.. Thanks.. Ive made one and its so yummy

  17. Okay, question.

    My friend wants me to make him Carrot cake cakepops. Now, I know Carrot cake is usually topped with cream cheese frosting. Can I use normal butter cream frosting to bind the cake pops? or can I still use cream cheese frosting to bind them?

    Thanks G!

  18. Hi Gretchen,

    Thank you for sharing and teaching us how to bake nice cakes.

    I would like to bake this cake as a sheet cake for a birthday. Could you please advice on how I can scale recipe to make a 3 layer cake in a 1/2 sheet pan.

    Also would it pair well with cream cheese and white chocolate frosting ?

    Happy New Year.

    Thanks

  19. Hi Gretchen,

    I would like to make the carrot cake recipe but it’s too much and how could I make it different to make less layers of the cake

    Thank you

  20. Hi Gretchen. Your recipes are just out of the world.They are just spot on. Gretchen could you please tell me what would be the weight of the browned butter? I made browned butter couple of days ago and forgot whether i doubled the butter quantity or used 336gms 🙁

  21. Can I leave out the pineapple and coconut and not add raisins and nuts? Just plain carrots. Also can I not put the orange zest? How many cups of shredded carrots will I have to use?

  22. Hi Gretchen,
    I have to make this carrot cake for a friend of mine. But she doesn’t like browned butter. Can I replace with melted butter or oil.
    Btw, I have followed your recipe to the T earlier. It’s heavenly!!!

  23. Hi Gretchen, I’m making two 12″ layers, do I double the recipe? Also, I’m adding in nuts and raisins along with the coconut and pineapple, do I make any changes to the recipe to accomodate for that?
    Thank you!!!

  24. In India we get ready made Brown butter. How much to be used ? You said 336 gms regular butter. We use brown butter on Non fermented , flat bread regularly. Its called Ghee.

  25. Ijust had to tell you I made a batch ofcupcakes using your tropical carrot cake recipe and they were a big hit, along with the American style buttercream. That icing was so smooth and wonderful tasting. Thanks again Gretchen for your recipes. You are quite an inspiration.

  26. Would like to make this cake for baby shower next month. Can I freeze the unfrosted baked cake? For how long?
    Also, I’m planning to make this as a 2 layer 10″x10″. Does the recipe need to be increased?
    Thank you!!

  27. Hello Gretchen,

    Can i add walnut and raisins to the recipe. If yes, what is the measurement like.

    Thanking u in advance.

    1. HI I actually wrote that in the written part of the post here (perhaps not clearly though?) Now of course you can forgo the pineapple and coconut and go for a more traditional carrot cake with raisins and nuts, or forget the add ins altogether!
      So you will just interchange the nuts and raisins for the pineapple & coconut

  28. Your cakes are baked flat… mine have domes in the middle… i follow the temp at 350 but my oven is big… like that ofa commercial oven… pls help me bake a flat cake… thanks a lot gretchen… all the best…

  29. Hey Gretchen. I’m a Big fan from Venezuela and send you loads of hugs. I wanted to ask. I can’t find butter on my country (longs story about my country). Can I replace it with oil? If I can would be great because on the other side my dad is lactose intolerant. Thanks so much and keep up with the awesome job

    1. Thank you so much. Hadn’t seen that (/.)
      You’ve worked for me every time. Whenever everyone around my house hear your voice on a video I’m playing they’ll start salivating hahaha. My best wishes to you.

  30. Hi Gretchen,
    I was wondering if I could substitute the butter for coconut oil and if so do I still have to go through the browning process or could I just melt it.

    Thanks for the recipe

  31. Hi Gretchen,
    I have been your biggest fan and follow lot of your recipes. I grew up in baking seeing your videos infact!. A small question: how can make this recipe eggless?? I know u strictly say recipes that call for egg should not be changed to eggless by substitutions, but I just love your tropical carrot cake and have made more than 20 times since 1 year and now I want an eggless version as my family members are kinda strict. I just want to bake this cake for them. Please help me!

    Your Swiss buttercreme with mocha version is super awesome and great recipe which every one loves! Love you!

  32. Hi Gretchen,

    Will the oil version be more soft and moist than the browned butter version as I’m going to refrigerate it with cream cheese frosting?

    Thanks!

    1. browned butter acts like oil so it will be the same – you will just lose that deep browned butter taste if you go for oil

  33. Wonderful recipe, Gretchen! Doubled the recipe and made a 12 inch cake to feed 40 people and they loved it! Thank you thank you !

  34. Hi Gretchen

    Can browned butter be made in advance ?

    Topics apart, I was wondering if all dry ingredients can be mixed in advance in packets. Like in this case can I prepack several air tight packets of cake and all purpose flour, baking powder and soda, salt and cinnamon? Does it affect the cake if I were to use this weeks or months later to make carrot cake?

    Thanks!

  35. Hi Gretchen
    Great recipe.
    Can I use some almond flour with the all purpose or instead? That changes the amount of any other ingredient?

    1. Almond flour will not bind the recipe like a glutenous flour will, so your cake may be heavy and fall apart if you substitute it

  36. Hi Gretchen, I made this cake and it was delicious! the only problem was the pineapple chunks made the cake fibrous and I couldn’t cut neat slices. Any suggestions? I just squeezed and crushed the chunks ( canned pineapple) to remove the juice and I used it.

    Also I want to try this cake using oil instead of butter…how can i compensate for the nutty butter flavor ?

    Thanks!

    1. Hmm, that’s odd. I have’nt experienced that. Perhaps your chunks were just too big? Athough you did say you also crushed them further by hand?
      Try using a nut oil like hazelnut or almond oil to try to get some nut flavor in there

  37. Hello! I am a newbie in baking and in following your blog. I had just baked your carrot cake..I did exactly as asked in the recipe except the toasted coconut as I dont have it in hand. The pineapple, mine turned out to be more juicy in texture than your version. I did half the recipe. The result is SUPER AMAZING…the smell, the texture, the overall experience was just great. Love it!!!!
    Thanks for sharing and God bless!

  38. Hi Gretchen! Great recipe you have here!
    I’ve tried this and it tasted delicious.
    Question: Is it ok to substitute the crushed pinapple with pinapple juice so I still have the pinapple taste without biting the pinapple in the cake?

    1. Hi Thanks, Not great to add a liquid ingredient in place of a solid- so no. You will change the texture of the cake, the whole balance will throw off and you will get a dense heavy rubbery cake

  39. Hi Gretchen!!! I love your recepies and I love you! You are so kind and energetic person, thank you for sharing ur recepies with the world!
    I have a question about the browned butter. I have looked through all the question and repiles but didnt get an answer.
    I took 336 gr of butter and browned it. After browning it became about 168 gr half down. Therfore, do i have to use 168 gr? Or double the 336×2 before brownig? I mean shall i get more butter before browing coz it will get half size? Thanks a lot. Hope my question is clear.

    1. Hi Thanks! Yes you are correct that you will have less after the browning since we are discarding the solids. SO the weight (measurement) is for the butter BEFORE browning.
      If you already have a batch of browned butter (which would be very interesting if you did LOL) But then it would only be the 168g?? for the total recipe. I put a ?? after that because honestly I did not weigh my browned butter after discarding the solids. So I cannot be sure it would be exactly 168g- but Ill trust that it is based on your calculation

  40. HI Gretchen,
    I been making carrot for my family and friends but brown butter carrot cake Its sound yummy and interesting so I will be make this one soon. and I love watching your video

  41. Hey Gretchen! A friend of mine has asked me to bake a cake for an upcoming office party with a fall theme. I want to use this cake baked in a 9x13x2 sheet pan. I’ve read your blog about freezing cakes, but I am wondering, with a sheet layer vs a round layer, if the freezing method is different. Do I leave the cake inside the pan for freezing?

    I’ve also read you Standard Pan Sizes information and want to confirm that this recipe for two 8×2 round pans should be adequate for one 9x13x2 sheet pan.

    A few more questions, pls!

    How do you grate your carrots? Do you use a food processor (if so, which blade size do you use?) or a block grater (if so, which grating side)? And do you strain your carrots at all to remove moisture before using them in the batter?

    I’m going to use your Buttercream Cheese Cream icing for this cake. I don’t want to mix all of the icing from both recipes together if I am not going to need that much to cover the sheet cake (which I will cover with fondant and decorate). How much icing do you think I will need to crumb coat and put a second coat of icing on the cake?

    Thank you for always being so helpful! You are the best!

    1. HI Great, yes to leaving it in the pan for freezing.
      You can put all the batter into a 9″X 13″ but typically I will consider 12X18 as a sheet cake, so you will get extra thick layers so just watch your baking temp and time, CLICK HERE FOR MORE

      I use a food processor yes or a block grater, they will give you the same grate size
      I do not strain them, as I have never encountered super wet carrot, however if you do, yes to strain.
      What about the filling?
      I would do 2X recipe for just icing

  42. I have made so many of ur recipes, they r all a great success. Today I made ur chocolate cups cakes and tropical cups cakes. Thankyou for all these recipes. I have. Got great compliments for them.

  43. Hey gretchens ur reciepes are amazing . Love to try ur browned butter carrot cake but out of cake flour can i use plain flour instead of that and what should be the quantity of baking powder and baking soda.

    1. Yes to cupcakes, and here is a note from the written blog post:
      For those of you who would like to go the classic route, instead of pineapple and coconut, use raisins and nuts in the same quantity as listed.

  44. I can’t wait till try this recipe but I still have a question. I see several times that you have answered the questions about adding raisins and nuts but you say substitute with pineapple and coconut amounts. Like how many cups of Raisins do you use and will nuts and raisins change the texture at all?

    1. Hi Thanks. from the blog post in the notes section on the written recipe: For those of you who would like to go the classic route, instead of pineapple and coconut, use raisins and nuts in the same quantity as listed

  45. Can I replace cake flour with all purpose flour as I do not hv cake flour

    And my second query is can I omit the pineapple…

  46. Hi Gretchen I really want to thank you for sharing this amazing recipe. I made this cake yesterday and I have no words to describe how delicious it is…… it is so soft n moist….all my family loved, every bit was so tasty and flavorful
    One more query….I want to make eggless version of this cake…..can I replace eggs with vinegar n soda bicarb or drinking soda.

  47. Hi Gretchen

    No question this time. Just wanted to let you know that ive tried so many of your recipes. They are fool proof and quite honestly the best recipes ive come across. Just wanted to thank you for all the work you put into this.

    i made your pumpkin, swiss buttercream, cream cheese, vanilla, carrot, and red velvet just in this one week. Dont know what i would have done without you.

  48. I made the Browned butter Tropical Carrot cake for a potluck at work. It was a huge success. One of the gals said her husband got a small piece of the cake she took home….he said that he thought he wouldn’t ever taste a carrot cake better than his mother’s but this one beats hands down!

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